Scarily enough there are a vast amount of riders out there who don’t know the difference between a guard and a brace, or they think a brace is just for people who have already had a knee dislocation. Sadly most people end up with a set of braces after they have had a knee reconstruction and realised all of the pain and down time involved with knee injury. So to set the record straight here are the differences between a guard and a brace.
Knee Guards: Reduce the severity of impact and abrasion injury to a riders’ knee and shin areas during a crash, often made up of foam padding with hard plastic, hardened foam or gel as a barrier between the rider and the ground and start at around $30 for a cheap set.
Knee Braces: Also have the basic knee padding but their primary objective is to protect the riders’ knee joint from dislocation. They are made from a range of materials depending on the brand but commonly have a solid external frame with a hinge at your knee joint level.
Knee braces protect the rider from lateral trauma and hyperextension style injuries and some braces like the Asterisk Ultra Cell and Asterisk Cyto Cell also feature a further level of support by locking the lower part of the brace to your boot preventing a common injury of a toe being caught on the ground in a corner and twisting the lower leg while the upper part of the leg continues in the direction of the motorcycle.